“Most of mainstream and public television in the late ’60s, and even during the ’70s, was from the point of view of an outsider looking at a subculture — white people looking at black people. We said we identify with and are a part of the subjects we are filming.”
St Clair Bourne
It is with deep pain and regret that HarlemOneStop shares with you the news of the passing of our beloved Harlem brother, filmmaker St Clair Bourne. According to his sister Judy, St. Clair made it through surgery without complication only to be attacked in the aftermath by a blood clot in his lung.
Bourne served on the New York State Council on the Arts (NYSCA) in the past and made numerous enlightening documentary films back when they were not sexy and there was no money for them. He produced the feature-length documentary Half Past Autumn: The Life and Works of Gordon Parks for HBO. With actor Wesley Snipes as narrator and executive producer, Bourne directed John Henrik Clarke: A Great and Mighty Walk
and also directed Paul Robeson: Here I Stand!, a two-hour documentary for the “American Masters” PBS series. He was also a co-producer on the HBO dramatic feature Rebound, the true story of playground basketball legend Earl “The Goat” Manigault as well as Woodie King’s independent theatrical feature The Long Night. Bourne is the executive producer for Visitors, Melis Birder’s documentary about the family and friends of the incarcerated and Filiberto: Dead or Alive about the Puerto Rican nationalist Filiberto Ojeda Rios.
Photo: Chester Higgins Jr./The New York Times
Kathleen Cleaver at St Clair Bourne’s Memorial